Plot: Taryn (Niamh Hogan) is devastated after the death of her younger sister, but she is also driven to avenge that loss by any means necessary. This leads to an unholy union with Falstaff (Michael Parle), a supernatural tinged man who plans to merge souls with Taryn to expand his power. The agreement partially fuses the souls, giving Taryn some of the demonic powers, but soon learns that her pact comes with a severe cost. Falstaff is part of a demonic militia that threatens all of all mankind, so when Taryn learns about a movement of warriors to fend off the demon march, she jumps on the wagon. She also discovers that using her newfound powers comes at a price, as whenever she unleashes her abilities, a piece of her soul is taken. Now she must battle the demons and try to save mankind, but also preserve her own soul, no simple task. With the fate of humanity and her own soul on the line, can she defeat Falstaff?
Entertainment Value: An indie action/horror project that seems to be heavily inspired by Underworld, Demon Hunter shows some sparks of potential, but takes itself way too seriously. I do admire the ambition involved, as the movie tries to do more than the usual indie horror picture. The action scenes are solid given the resources involved, but there’s a lot of exposition and the movie chooses to be heavy handed with the narrative, which slows down the pace. The plot takes about the half the movie to reach the turning point, preceded by excessive flashbacks. I hope director Zoe Kavanagh trusts her audience more in her next effort, as Demon Hunter has some bright spots, but it seems to think viewers won’t pick up on more subtle elements. I do love the Taryn character, as she is quite unlike the typical heroine, in ways that will delight some and frustrate others. She is emo, passsive aggressive, and delivers epic level cringe with her dialogue, which I loved and found immense entertainment in. But I can also see how some wouldn’t connect with Taryn, as she isn’t that likable. Again, I think Taryn’s ridiculous emo presence is the highlight of Demon Hunter, so I am a little biased on that aspect. I wanted to love this one, as it shows some real potential and has slick visuals, but it just tries too hard and is way too serious. I’d still recommend it to those who appreciate odd characters, as Taryn is a one of a kind, but then I’m not sure how many viewers will appreciate her as much as I did.
No nakedness. Taryn is beautiful, but she doesn’t seem to take pleasure in anything, so it makes sense she wouldn’t pursue sexual release. The movie does have some blood, but not a lot and there is of course some CGI involved. As far as the bloodshed, it is never graphic and is mostly aftermath, such as blood dripping from a mouth and spraying from an off screen source. The movie has clear horror traits, but is more action than horror, so the lack of gore and bloodshed isn’t a real concern. The action isn’t all that frequent however and while solid by indie movie standards, it never pushes the pace or goes for wild, over the top set pieces. The dialogue is going to divide viewers, as some will detest the wooden, cringe lines, while others like myself will love every second of Taryn’s presence. She delivers her cornball lines with no inflection or emotion, which makes them all the more hilarious. “I’m the nightmare you deserve.” is a line that simply has to be heard to be believed. I was entertained by Taryn’s character, but as I said, I can see why others might not be as enthused. In terms of craziness, Taryn is ridiculous, but otherwise, this one never tries to go off the deep end. I wish it would have, as a less serious, more fun focused approach might have worked wonders. Especially given how offbeat and awkward Taryn is, I can only imagine how off the rails this could have been with some tweaks.
Overall Insanity: 1/10